Bike rack questions

Got a friend who has a 2010 Hyundai Sonata with a 1 1/4-inch hitch that keeps a 48-pound bike rack (weight without a bike) constantly on his vehicle.
It does appear to lower the back end of the car.
Could this be causing any long-term problems to any parts in the rear end or any other parts?

Very unlikely to cause long term problems

Sagging springs can happen. My Corolla has a heavy tool box in the trunk and the rear has droped an inch when trunk is empty.

The old “Just asking for a friend” question, eh? :smile:

If it’s bad enough it could cause a problem with the headlights (or wheel alignment).

Do quite a few oncoming motorists flash their headlights at your “friend”? If the rear is low then the headlights will aim a bit higher. I’d say that if it’s not a problem with the lights then I’d find something else to worry about.

48 pounds ? I have more than that in the back of our Ford Fiesta after a trip to Sams Club. Or 2 sets of golf clubs on a 75 mile trip to meet 2 other people for a miserable day of golf.

Mark , why are you even worried about this ? People do this bike hauling all the time to go places without any serious damage.

I can’t believe 48lbs is going to have any long term adverse effects.

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That’s worth addressing. The weight itself would be negligible for the well-being of the suspension. But if you add 2 even lightweight bikes, the total weight becomes about 100 pounds - and that weight is far behind the rear suspension, so by its leverage it has more effect than if it were in the back seat, for example. It could have enough effect to raise the beam of the headlights. If it were my car I’d test this with headlights aimed at a wall.

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Thanks Shanonia and all for input into my “not the brightest” question I’ve ever asked.
All turned out well, since the bike rack is only used for short trips, I bought a less than 20-pound rack ($70) on Amazon and sold the monstrous Thule rack on CL, pocketing $105 in the deal.

The physics may surprise some. If 48 pounds is hanging 4 feet behind the center of the rear wheels and the distance from the rear wheels to the front bumper is 10 feet the rear axle will have about 17 pounds added equaling 65 pounds of additional load while the front axle will have 17 pounds lifted from it.

That’s all rounded math so recalculate as desired.

You can check on etrailer to get an idea what is required. Normally though a bike rack requires a 2" hitch if not further supported. The other thing is that it likely has a tongue weight limit of 100#. With a light trailer that’s not a big deal since the weight is distributed on a trailer, but several bikes and a heavy rack will likely exceed the tongue limit. So I wouldn’t worry about the vehicle as much as exceeding the limits of the hitch.

My story: Back about 1986 we wanted to take the bikes with us to Disney without the trailer this time. So I made a bike rack to fit into the hitch receiver. This was before anyone else was selling them. A guy at Disney looked it over pretty good and asked a lot of questions about it. About a year or so later they were on the market. I always suspected he stole my idea but could have been anyone else I guess in the 3000 mile trip.

If an added weight of only 48 lbs has a noticeable effect on the ride height of this vehicle, then there are some serious issues that have nothing to do with a bike rack.

Trading a Thule bike rack for a 70.00 Amazon bike rack ! No way I would do that.